The summer before I turned thirteen, I held so still it almost killed me.Did I enjoy reading Nikki Loftin's Wish Girl? Yes, very much. It does have its melancholic moments: Peter is a troubled boy--the victim of bullying--and he becomes close friends with a girl dying of cancer. But overall, the focus is on the magical properties of friendship, art, and nature.
Peter and his family have recently moved to Texas. The dad is out of a job, and, his parents are fighting A LOT. But part of the tension in the family comes from everyone worrying about Peter. Why they are so worried about him remains a mystery for much of the book, though adults may guess early on.
It's true enough that Peter is troubled. But for Peter it was never just the fact that he was physically bullied in the past--and the present. It was the fact that he felt he was never heard, never understood, never appreciated for being who he is, accepted as is. It's this feeling out of place--even at home--that leads him into depression and despair.
So Peter may not be thrilled about every aspect of the move, but, he discovers a special place, a valley, I believe, that changes EVERYTHING in his mindset. It is in this place that he meets the wish girl for the very first time. And being a bit clueless, he doesn't catch on that she's got cancer and is in fact dying. But eventually, these two strangers become very close friends... and in that process he learns more about himself, how to be true to himself.
I liked this one.
© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews